• 873 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
20022019
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Personal profile

Public Profile

Susan is a biomedical scientist with three first author Nature publications to her credit. She trained with Nobel Laureate J. Michael Bishop (UCSF) and Prof Nick Hayward (QIMR-B). Her lab focuses on gut cancer: the subject of her NHMRC New Investigator funding and Beat Cancer SA Fellowship. She uses both patient samples and sophisticated preclinical models. Her research integrates state-of-the-art approaches to address clinical needs for worst prognosis bowel cancers.

Bowel cancer is a preventable disease, if early bowel cancers are detected they can be removed and >95% of patients are cured. Yet over 4000 Australians still die from this cancer each year. We need to do better to prevent, find and treat these cancers. Projects in the lab focus on finding the hidden, early cancers that are not found by current population bowel cancer screening tests. We combine recent technological advances to develop new tests to better detect these lesions and predict which will become killers. We will rapidly move our best candidates to existing clinical cohorts for evaluation, to expedite translation to the clinic. 

Together with our Australian research and US-based corporate partners, we also assess personalised treatment regimes for advanced disease using patient samples grown in a dish. If this works, it will guide therapy choice for patients, reducing unwarranted side-effects and picking the treatment that will work most effectively for each patient. 

Projects in the lab also investigate how the bacterial community in our gut is changed in cancer, and the role this plays in promoting this disease. This may lead to a probiotic supplement for high risk people to assist with bowel cancer detection or prevention in the future.

Research Interests

Bowel cancer is a preventable disease, if early bowel cancers are detected they can be removed and >95% of patients are cured. Yet over 4000 Australians still die from this cancer each year. We need to do better to prevent, find and treat these cancers. Projects in the lab focus on finding the hidden, early cancers that are not found by current population bowel cancer screening tests. We combine recent technological advances to develop new tests to better detect these lesions and predict which will become killers. We will rapidly move our best candidates to existing clinical cohorts for evaluation, to expedite translation to the clinic. 

Together with our Australian research and US-based corporate partners, we also assess personalised treatment regimes for advanced disease using patient samples grown in a dish. If this works, it will guide therapy choice for patients, reducing unwarranted side-effects and picking the treatment that will work most effectively for each patient. 

Projects in the lab also investigate how the bacterial community in our gut is changed in cancer, and the role this plays in promoting this disease. This may lead to a probiotic supplement for high risk people to assist with bowel cancer detection or prevention in the future.

 

Gut Cancer Group Student Projects

Title: Using patient derived organoids and genomics to guide personalised treatment for advanced bowel cancer

Project description: Together with our Australian research and US-based corporate partners, we also combine genomic analyses and patient organoid drug sensitivity assays to assess personalised treatment regimes for patients with advanced disease. We are using this to guide therapy choice for patients, reducing unwarranted side-effects and providing new treatment options for patients that have exhausted standard care options. 

Projects available for: HDR
Location: SAHMRI
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2
Special requirements: Vaccination required

 

Title: Probiotic bacteria to detect and treat bowel cancer

Project description: This project focuses on probiotic bacteria that naturally seek out cancer to develop novel sensors of early disease and to deliver tumour specific, immune-activating payloads to treat a broad range of advanced bowel cancers. 

Projects available for: HDR
Location: SAHMRI
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2
Special requirements: Vaccination required

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Adelaide

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Research Output 2002 2019

  • 873 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
  • 13 Article
  • 2 Review article

Alpha-Blockers as colorectal cancer chemopreventive: Findings from a case-control study, human cell cultures, and in vivo preclinical testing

Suzuki, N., Niikura, R., Ihara, S., Hikiba, Y., Kinoshita, H., Higashishima, N., Hayakawa, Y., Yamada, A., Hirata, Y., Nakata, R., Okamoto, M., Sano, M., Kushiyama, A., Suzuki Ichinose, M., Woods, S., Worthley, D., Iwamoto, Y. & Koike, K., 1 Mar 2019, In : Cancer Prevention Research. 12, 3, p. 185-194 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Cancer-associated fibroblasts—heroes or villains?

Gieniec, K. A., Butler, L., Worthley, D. & Woods, S. L., 13 Aug 2019, In : British Journal of Cancer. 121, 4, p. 293-302 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Citations (Scopus)

Cancer-associated fibroblasts in gastrointestinal cancer

Kobayashi, H., Enomoto, A., Woods, S., Burt, A. D., Takahashi, M. & Worthley, D., 1 May 2019, In : Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 16, 5, p. 282-295 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Citations (Scopus)

Genetic editing of colonic organoids provides a molecularly distinct and orthotopic preclinical model of serrated carcinogenesis

Lannagan, T. R. M., Lee, Y. K., Wang, T., Roper, J., Bettington, M. L., Fennell, L., Vrbanac, L., Jonavicius, L., Somashekar, R., Gieniec, K., Yang, M., Ng, J. Q., Suzuki, N., Ichinose, M., Wright, J. A., Kobayashi, H., Putoczki, T. L., Hayakawa, Y., Leedham, S. J., Abud, H. E. & 10 othersYilmaz, Ö. H., Marker, J., Klebe, S., Wirapati, P., Mukherjee, S., Tejpar, S., Leggett, B. A., Whitehall, V. L. J., Worthley, D. L. & Woods, S. L., 1 Apr 2019, In : Gut. 68, 4, p. 684-692 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Oncogenic BRAF mutation induces DNA methylation changes in a murine model for human serrated colorectal neoplasia

Bond, C. E., Liu, C., Kawamata, F., McKeone, D. M., Fernando, W., Jamieson, S., Pearson, S. A., Kane, A., Woods, S. L., Lannagan, T. R. M., Somashekar, R., Lee, Y., Dumenil, T., Hartel, G., Spring, K. J., Borowsky, J., Fennell, L., Bettington, M., Lee, J., Worthley, D. L. & 2 othersLeggett, B. A. & Whitehall, V. L. J., 2 Jan 2018, In : Epigenetics. 13, 1, p. 40-48 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access